Pistons fall to Knicks 125-116 in 2OT
The Detroit News
Auburn Hills -- The Pistons lost to the New York Knicks on Sunday at The Palace because their perimeter defense faltered and they could not stop the inside presence of Amare Stoudemire. Three-point shooting and the Knicks' big man in the middle led to a 125-116 double-overtime loss.
Now the Pistons (6-11) must figure how to defend the perimeter better Tuesday in Orlando against the Magic. It doesn't get any easier Wednesday, when the Pistons play the struggling Heat in Miami, or Friday, when Pistons face the Magic again, this time at The Palace.
As for Sunday, the Knicks (9-9) pulled away in the second overtime for two reasons: They got open shots, and the Pistons stopped hitting the fade away jumpers that kept them in the game to that point.
"They got good looks and knocked them down," Pistons center Ben Wallace said. "We made some tough shots just to stay in the game, but eventually good looks trumps tough shots. You can only make a handful of tough shots before the other team defends it better or you just miss a shot. You have to give them credit. They executed very well and made shots at the end."
Tayshaun Prince (31 points, eight rebounds and seven assists) hit a number of those tough shots, as did Rodney Stuckey (29 points) and Richard Hamilton (17). But the Pistons never were in sync defensively.
That allowed the Knicks to knock down four 3-pointers in the second overtime. Danilo Gallinari struggled defending Prince, but he hit two big 3-pointers in the final period; teammates Landry Fields (16 points) and Wilson Chandler (20 points) hit the others.
"It is tough when you fight so hard, especially down the stretch, and you don't win," Hamilton said. "You give up so many 3s. It is tough."
The Knicks made 15 of 38 3-point shots while the Pistons were just five of 13. The 38 attempts were a record for a Pistons opponent. But the Knicks kept attempting them because they were wide open and had time to measure their shots.
"When you are in rotations sometimes things happen," Pistons coach John Kuester said. "He (Gallinari) got two good looks and we didn't get there quick enough."
The Knicks got the ball inside to Stoudemire, who had 37 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists. They moved the ball well, and the Pistons were often a step slow in rotation. Orlando will use a similar game plan with Howard in the middle and gunners Rashard Lewis, Vince Carter and J.J. Redick on the perimeter.
The Magic are shooting .371 from beyond the 3-point arc and average more than 24 attempts per game.
"We have to let go of this one and move on," Hamilton said. "It is a game we wanted to get before going on the road. We got two tough ones coming up."
The Knicks (9-9) won their fifth straight road game, something they done since the 2000-2001 season. The Pistons 2-7 on the road and face teams this week who are a combined 15-5 at home.
The theme in the Pistons' dressing room afterward was to let this game go. They also are hoping for some newfound energy from Tracy McGrady, who scored 13 points, all in the second quarter. He started the second half ahead of Jason Maxiell because the Knicks used a smaller lineup. McGrady did not score but finished with six rebounds and three assists.
"I felt, hey, I am going to go ahead and ride him because normally in a situation like that we would even put Austin (Daye) in," Kuester said.
McGrady said he felt fine but also said a bandage on his leg tightened and he felt like The Palace was 30 degrees.
"I'm just gradually getting better and better each game," McGrady said. "Just feeling more comfortable on the basketball court."
McGrady has not played much the past two seasons because of knee surgery. Now he wants to help the Pistons on the road.
"I am fine," he said. "I will be fine for Orlando."
Nov. 28, 2010